It is not often I receive comments on posts older than a few weeks. But I found it curious that I would receive a comment on my post “PCGS Demonstrates Its New Technology” from last January. When I read the reply, I thought it deserved more attention than a response to a five-month old post.

The comment is from Christopher Neal Wyatt, President of Superior Bullion from Cincinnati, Ohio who has not had a good experience with PCGS SecurePlus service. Rather than have me explain the problem, Mr. Wyatt has given me permission to make his comment as a main post:

I am a coin dealer on eBay and I have been submitting coins to PCGS for years.

Regarding the new SecurePlus service, I am growing less enthusiastic with each and every submission.

I have come to the conclusion that the there are two critical problems with the PCGS SecurePlus service:

1.) The coin grading staff is now able to see an extremely high-resolution scan of each coin, such that tiny, minor imperfections- which would not have been visible even under 10x magnification- are now being blown out of proportion, and as a result I am now receiving grades which are lower than I believe I would have received under the old method.

2.) Now that PCGS has a ‘fingerprint’ of my coin, I feel as though it is no longer possible for me to re-submit the coins in hopes of a higher grade, as my duplicate submission will immediately be detected, and they will likely send the coin back to me with the same grade as before, without taking the time to properly reconsider the coin for a possible higher grade.

Up until this past month, I felt as though PCGS was giving me consistent grades on every coin I submitted. More recently, however, it seems as though the grades have not been fair; one coin should have been an MS 68, but was given a 67, and a second was graded PR68DCAM, when it clearly should have been PR70DCAM- this coin has no scratches, a full strike, and beaming mint luster. I have the photos to prove it.

I have never posted my thoughts about third-party grading since I have mixed feelings about this type of service. I see justification for both sides of the argument. One aspect about third party grading I worry about is the concept of “market grading” and how some high volume dealers try to play on the subjective nature of market grading to try to get coins graded higher with each submission. I understand this is why PCGS created the SecurePlus service, but the need for it strikes me as a bit unseemly.

My collection includes graded coins and I participate in NGC’s Registry Set competition. But the vast majority of my collection consists of raw (not graded) coins and will probably remain that way. This is how I feel today, but I may change my mind in the future.

Mr. Wyatt said that he will be resubmitting his coins for review and will let me know what happens when they return. I will post the results when I receive them.

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